South Africa, Life, etc

AmaBookaBooka goes book in time with Imraan Coovadia

By Jonathan Ancer 5 December 2017

We dip into our archives to rebroadcast one of our first ever episodes – an interview with acclaimed novelist, essayist and academic Imraan Coovadia. By JONATHAN ANCER.

Today’s episode of AmaBookaBooka features University of Cape Town professor Imraan Coovadia and was recorded in 2015 – about 50 author interviews ago. Coovadia is the author of The Wedding in 2001, Green-Eyed Thieves (2006), High Low In-between (2009), The Institute for Taxi Poetry (2012) and Tales of the Metric System (2014).

Coovadia reads an extract from Tales of the Metric System, which is an accomplished novel that takes readers from a Natal boarding school in the 1970s to Soviet spies in London in the ‘80s to the 1995 Rugby World Cup and intrigue in the Union Buildings.

Tales of the Metric System unfolds over 10 chapters and follows the lives of a few sets of characters – playwrights, politicians, philosophers and thieves – whose stories are interlinked.

Despite what Coovadia says in the AmaBookaBooka podcast, his books have received much acclaim and he’s won all the South African literary awards that matter – the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, the University of Johannesburg Prize, the M-Net Prize, and the South African Literary Award for Non-Fiction.

He is a graduate of Harvard College, has taught 19th Century Studies at a number of universities in the US and directs UCT’s creative writing programme. At Harvard, Coovadia took classes with JM Coetzee and he tells us what he learnt from the winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. He also explains why it’s important for writers to write in the morning, why he should have become a physicist (not a writer), why Lauren Beukes has more Facebook friends than him, and why the Spud books became best-sellers.

AmaBookaBooka then submits Coovadia to the Sound Effects Rorschach Test – and he emerges virtually unscathed.

During this week’s Self-Publishing Corner, MyeBook founder Dave Henderson discusses the power of print on demand and how authors can leverage Amazon. Interested in self-publishing? Visit the MYeBook.co.za website for regular news. DM

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